Steven Castellano CC '13 is from Middletown, New Jersey and majored in Biophysics. He was one of the head coordinators for CUE, the CCSC Academic Affairs Representative, a leading member of the Student Wellness Project, a TA for Biology, a researcher who engineered cells in Fairchild and is pretty much the most helpful and caring person you'll ever meet on this earth. A good way to sum up his dedication to others is to either imagine him as the person who will A) Drop everything he is doing when you need him there for you even if he is in the middle of a paper and you call at 4am or B) be that person on the team who gives everyone direction and inspiration, but when they aren't able to pull their weight, he goes ahead and picks up their slack without ever complaining.
During Steven's first year at Columbia, he joined CCSC's Student Life committee, naively believing that throwing better parties would improve community at Columbia. Afterwards, he joined the policy committee, and hoped to use this experience to win a seat in the University senate during his race in his sophomore year. He came in dead last. He his junior year he used social media and won the Academic Affairs Representative position.
One of Steven's first successes was to work with the registrar to make the schedules of finals available earlier. He then worked with the Academic Integrity Task Force to come up with the idea of an honor code, which would include an honor pledge to be recited by all incoming students during NSOP, a signing of an honor code, NSOP programming about academic integrity and wellness, and a short version of this pledge to appear on all Columbia Blue Books. Despite a resolution being passed by all the student councils in April of 2013, ESC decided to rescind their vote on the grounds that such an effort needed to be discussed more with the students, and that the ESC members were not aware of how well the administration was informed of the plan when they initially passed it.. Steve and other members of CCSC were surprised with the reversal as the discussion had been publicly documented since November, the administrators who would implement the program were informed, the organizations are called student councils for a reason, and ESC did not bring up any of their concerns when they initially
rubber stamped passed the resolution. The intention was to use the honor code as a way of uniting the four schools, but with ESC's sudden departure, Steven went ahead and convinced SGA, CCSC, GSSC to pass a version of the proposal without a clause stating that all four schools had to be included.
As if relations with ESC weren't peachy already, Steve reached out to them to see if one of its members wanted to work with him on implementing a course waitlist. Since non of the ESC members were free to attend his meetings with the registrar's Barry Kane, Steve recruited a non-ESC SEAS student to help him get engineering input on the issue. Steve's past relationship with the registrar getting the finals schedules out earlier proved useful; the registrar would be able to implement most of his suggestions. The last step was to present this completely-safe, no disagreement plan to the councils, and of course, ESC found something wrong with it. They argued that it was more fair for students to relentlessly click refresh instead of using a waitlist because it ensured the people who wanted the course the most would get it and that seniors who had better registration times would hog up all the waitlist spots. Forget the fact that people actually want to use
engineering technology to reduce work in their day, and that it would be in a senior's best interest to drop a course if they got into too many from the waitlist. ESC again felt there hadn't be enough discussion about the matter among the students, and they advised the registrar to refrain from implementing any new technologies over the summer, insisting that they engage in negotiations in fall 2013 for possible implementation in 2014. Luckily for us, the registrar doesn't take anyone's shit when it comes to hindering progress.
Steven's 60 page wellness report
Which has over FIFTY THOUSAND VIEWS on a renren.com.
Steven was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He was a recipient of the King's Crown Leadership Award for Ethics & Morality. and he won the Alumni Association Achievement Award, which has a description so badass and fitting for Steve that I have to include it right here. "A trophy, in the form of a Columbia lion, awarded annually to the member of the senior class who is judged to be most outstanding for qualities of mind, character, and service to the College."
Despite all of Steven's awards and stellar grades, he shared a bit too much with Mortimer Adler. Steven's concern at the end of his senior wisdom came true, and he failed to graduate because he neglected to take his swim test!!!!